Legal & Regulatory

Indian Regulator Approves REITs to Streamline FDI into Burgeoning Property Market

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DELHI – On Sunday, India’s capital market regulator, The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in a long-awaited announcement, revealed the guidelines for real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs).

The listed entities will function similarly to mutual funds, allowing developers to raise resources from investors that can be directly invested into realty and infrastructure projects.

“If somebody creates a Special Project Vehicle (SPV) and has made an investment in a real estate project, units of that will be used to form the REIT and that Trust will issue shares” explains U K Shinha, SEBI Chairman.

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India Makes Plans to Adopt International Industrial Coding System to Attract FDI

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DELHI – The Indian government plans to adopt the international industrial coding system to simplify and clarify policy and economic information for foreign investors as part of its plan to overhaul foreign direct investment policy under Modi’s administration.

By replacing the current National Industrial Classification (NIC) 1987 system with the 2008 system, economic data and policy can be synchronized with international standards, making FDI policy easier to navigate for foreign investors.

The move is in line with the Modi administration’s plan to simplify business processes and improve the ease of doing business in India to boost foreign investment. India is currently ranked at 134th place out of 189 global economies, according to the latest World Bank report.

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Cabinet Approves Changes to Manufacturing Labor Laws in India

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DELHI – In a landmark decision last month, India’s Union Cabinet approved a proposal to amend three key labor laws including the Factories Act 1948, Apprentices Act 1961 and Labor Laws Act 1988.

While successive Indian governments have agreed on the need for comprehensive labor reform, partisan politics and the potential for a union-led backlash have historically stalled policy progress.

However, with Narendra Modi and the BJP now in control of the first majority government in 30 years, many foreign investors are hopeful these proposed amendments may signal the beginning of the first major revamp in nearly five decades of India’s outdated labor laws – a development that could create millions of new jobs and boost the country’s manufacturing competitiveness.

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DIPP to Process All Single-Brand Retail Proposals Within 90 Days

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The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has set a 90 day maximum time frame to process all outstanding FDI proposals in single-brand retail.

Under fire for delaying 13 applications to open single-brand retail outlets from several major foreign retailers including Forever 21, Furla and Swarovski, the DIPP is now attempting to fast-track its approval process to avoid further criticism.

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Political Contributions in India: A Guide for Foreign Companies

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DELHI – While laws governing political contributions in the United States and Europe are relatively straightforward, restrictions in India are slightly more complex and effectively prohibit political parties and candidates from accepting contributions from foreign individuals and firms.

Initially governed by the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976 and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, foreign political contributions are now principally governed by the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA 2010).

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India Mulls Scrapping 30 Percent Domestic Sourcing Requirement

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DELHI – India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is reportedly considering scrapping the 30 percent domestic sourcing requirement in single-brand retail.

According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the move could yield higher foreign investment (FDI) inflows by allowing high-end and high-tech brands to enter the Indian market without being required to source goods locally.

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India’s Import Policy: Procedures and Duties

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The following is an excerpt from the July 2014  edition of India Briefing Magazine, titled “Passage to India: Selling to India’s Consumer Market.

IB 2014 03 issue_illustration artIn India, the import and export of goods is governed by the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 and India’s Export Import (EXIM) Policy. India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is the principal governing body responsible for all matters related to EXIM Policy, and new guidelines on Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) are expected to be released soon to replace previous FTP guidelines that expired in March 2014.

Importers are required to register with the DGFT to obtain an Importer Exporter Code Number (IEC) issued against their Permanent Account Number (PAN), before engaging in EXIM activities. After an IEC has been obtained, the source of items for import must be identified and declared. The Indian Trade Classification – Harmonized System (ITC-HS) allows for the free import of most goods without a special import license. Certain goods that fall under the following categories require special permission or licensing

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New Foreign Investment Proposal Checklist Released in India

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DELHI – India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has released a new document checklist for submitting proposals to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

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